Before You Paint Your Brick Exterior

Before You Paint Your Brick Exterior

The Brick Industry Association touts brick for its strength, energy efficiency and low maintenance, but sometimes brick can just be dated or downright ugly. A fresh new color on your home’s exterior brick can go a long way toward updating your home.

Whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional, the same steps, particularly careful preparation, should be followed.

Clean the bricks: Use a wire brush, soap and water to clean the bricks, or use a power washer. For hard to remove stains, you can mix water with trisodium phosphate (TSP). TSP is phosphate-free and formulated for hard surfaces. Use approximately one-half cup to a gallon of water. For mold, mix one part bleach to three parts water and scrub with a wire brush.

Repair cracks and missing mortar: If you’re painting the brick for the first time, buy a premixed mortar patch, then caulk and seal any cracks in the brick. If your brick is already painted use the wire brush to loosen any paint that may be peeling.

Use masonry primer: Like TSP, latex masonry primer is made for brick. It ensures that the paint color will go on smoothly and evenly. Allow the primer to dry before you begin to paint. If the paint was originally painted with oil, you’ll have to use oil-based masonry primer and paint or the fresh paint will quickly peel. Apply two coats of paint for coverage, and wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second.

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